HB 734 — Human Fetal Tissue – Prohibition

POSITION: SUPPORT

COMMITTEE: HOUSE HEALTH AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

The Maryland Catholic Conference represents the mutual public-policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. We offer this testimony in support of House Bill 734. 

HB 734 would prohibit a person from knowingly engaging in certain conduct relating to the solicitation, acquisition, receipt, and donation of certain human fetal tissue for research purposes. Prohibiting this conduct will instill within people an innate appreciation of the dignity and value of every human life. 

The use of fetal tissue from an elective abortion for research is unnecessary regardless of how promising research initiatives may be; it should be noted that since the December 2018 establishment of HHS funding to support research on the development of ethical alternatives to the use of such tissue, progress has already been made. 

HB 734 would signify the growing public awareness that from the moment of conception the unborn child is a human being who has the right to be respected and protected. As a State we should be encouraging research that is done in an ethical and humane manner that aims to advance the cause of human life and reduce suffering and not promote acts that are in stark contrast to the aim of such research. 

For these reasons, we urge a favorable report on House Bill 734.